A few years ago I had the chance to spend a week with my daughter in Provence. It was a wonderful trip filled with long beautiful vistas of sunflower fields, a day trip to the Mediterranean coast near Marseille, small cafes on quiet streets of a small village square, and a slice of wonderful tarte tatin with a cup of tea in the afternoon while we lingered over gentle conversation and an occasional good book. While there I picked up a wonderful small cookbook in French with the title, no less, of Tartes Tatin. It was written by Catherine Quévremont and serves as the inspiration for this recipe for Tomato and Sardine Tarte Tatin.
My history with tarte tatin dates back to some of my earlier culinary classes and involved either apples or pears slow cooked in a lot of butter and some sugar in a metal skillet on top of the stove. You topped the browned fruit with a round of puff pastry or a piece of rich and buttery tart crust and then baked the whole thing in a hot oven for 30 minutes or more to allow the crust to cook and brown.
In this savory version I started with wonderful red and yellow fresh tomatoes from our summer garden. I added the sardines (as inspired by Mme. Quévremont) and fresh herbs, and used a commercially prepared puff pastry sheet for my crust. When the dish finished baking, I added goat cheese crumbles as an accent for the top and served it immediately while still warm from the oven. Add a small side salad and perhaps some fresh fruit for dessert, et voilà, brunch is ready! Enjoy!
Tomato and Sardine Tarte Tatin
canola oil spray
4 large tomatoes
1 can sardines in oil (3.75 oz.)
1/2 Tbsp. rosemary
1 Tsp, thyme
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (thawed for 15-20 min.)
1 oz. goat cheese crumbles
Spray metal skillet with canola oil. Wash tomatoes and remove stems. Cut tomatoes in half horizontally. Place tomatoes cut side down in skillet, cover with lid and cook on top of stove for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove lid and continue to cook to evaporate extra liquid. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle rosemary and thyme across the tomatoes. Place a layer of sardines on top.
Cover pan with thawed puff pastry sheet. Place pan in oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until pastry is cooked and brown. Remove from oven, place plate across pan and flip over so that tarte tatin is right side up (pastry on the bottom, tomatoes and sardines on the top). Top with goat cheese crumbles.
Approximate nutrition information per serving: 180 calories; 11 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 0 grams transfat; 45 mg cholesterol; 220 mg sodium; 15 grams carbohydrate; 1 grams dietary fiber; 6 grams protein.